I have a bachelor’s degree in media studies and journalistic communication and I am currently enrolled in the master’s program of media studies at Aarhus University. As a part of my master’s program, I am doing my internship at San Diego Community Newspaper Group.
During my internship, I am going to write a column every week about how it is to be a Dane living in San Diego. About the cultural differences, my experiences and adventures and about the things our two countries could learn from each other.
I am from the happiest country in the world, the land where people eat rye bread for lunch; and one of the most cycle-friendly nations worldwide and the country with the hygge feeling. I am from Denmark, and I live in a city called Aarhus that is known as “the city of smiles.”
Let me start by telling you a little about where I come from. Denmark is a small country in Europe with a population of 5.7 million people. Compared to that, New York City has a population of 8.5 million people, so there are more people living in New York City than there is in my whole country. Just as a perspective.
Most parts of Denmark have a coastline, so almost everybody in Denmark lives close to the beach. Unfortunately, the weather in Denmark is very unstable and in the summer it could be 10 degrees Celsius and rain one day and 25 degrees Celsius and blue sky the next day. Therefore one of the most popular topics of conversation in Denmark is the weather. And people often complain about it.
When people think about Denmark they often think about our healthcare system. We are one of the countries in the world that pays the highest taxes, but in return we get free healthcare, and it is free for everyone to go to school and university.
Denmark is one of the richest countries in the world and the difference between rich and poor is minimal. Denmark is a welfare society and that is part of the reason why it is the happiest country in the world.
Another thing Denmark is known for is the hygge feeling. Hygge is a word that can’t really be translated into English, but it roughly means cozy contentment. Hygge brings out warm, good and fuzzy feelings and it can be experienced in both summertime and wintertime. In the winter, you can for example, experience hygge with blankets and candles in front of the fire; and in the summer, with picnic in a park. It is basically about being with the people you love and having a good time, and the Danes love it.
I would describe myself as a typical Danish girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and living up to our status as one of the countries with the tallest population, my height is 6 feet.
Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard is an editorial intern with San Diego Community Newspaper Group, who is from Aarhus, Denmark. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.